RENEGADE INVESTIGATORS USE ALIEN TECHNOLOGY TO SOLVE CRIME IN THE U.S. PREMIERE OF BBC AMERICA'S TORCHWOOD
- An acclaimed new sci-fi drama created by Russell T Davies-
From Russell T Davies, writer of the new Doctor Who series and Queer as Folk, comes Torchwood an action-packed, adrenalin-fuelled new sci-fi series following the adventures of a team of investigators who use alien technology to solve crime. Torchwood premieres Saturday, September 8 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.
The team, led by the enigmatic, ever-watchful Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman, Doctor Who, De-Lovely), uses scavenged alien technology to solve present day crime - both alien and human. They're separate from the government, outside the police and beyond the United Nations. Torchwood sets its own rules, delving into the unknown and fighting the impossible.
Everyone who works for Torchwood is young, under 35. Some say that's because it's a new science. Others say it's because they die young.
Alongside charismatic Captain Jack is Gwen (Eve Myles). Initially an outsider, her first meeting with the team sparks a burning curiosity to get to the truth, throwing her into an unfamiliar but exciting world. Clear and instinctive, she understands people and is, at times, the group's conscience. But can she completely separate herself from her normal life?
The rest of the bold and passionate team is made up of charming medic Owen Harper (Burn Gorman), young, hedonistic and utterly brilliant; reserved Toshiko Sato (Naoko Mori) who specialises in computers, surveillance and all things technical; the super-intelligent and intense Suzie Costello (Indira Varma) who has devoted her life to the strange alien artefacts under her control; and Ianto Jones (Gareth David Lloyd) who is far more important than his receptionist role suggests.
From an underground base built on a rift in time and space, the team respond to any alien threat � a meteorite crash landing, sightings of extra-terrestrial technology, an unusual autopsy report, the spread of a deadly alien virus.
Part X-Files, part Angels, Torchwood is the team we'd all love to be part of, where excitement comes before morality and the rules are made as you go along...
BBC AMERICA brings audiences a new generation of award-winning television featuring razor-sharp comedies, provocative dramas, life-changing makeovers and news with a uniquely global perspective. BBC AMERICA pushes the boundaries to deliver high quality, highly addictive and eminently watchable programming to viewers who demand more. BBC AMERICA is distributed by Discovery Networks. It is available on digital cable and satellite TV.
For more information about BBC AMERICA visit www.bbcamerica.com
CAST AND PRODUCTION CREDITS
Captain Jack Harkness John Barrowman (Doctor Who, De-Lovely)
Gwen Cooper Eve Myles (Soundproof)
Owen Harper Burn Gorman (Bleak House, Low Winter Sun)
Toshiko Sato Naoko Mori (Absolutely Fabulous, MI-5)
Suzie Costello Indira Varma (Rome, Canterbury Tales)
Ianto Jones Gareth David Lloyd (Mine all Mine)
Rhys Jones Kai Owen (Rocket Man)
Creator, Lead Writer and
Executive Producer Russell T Davies (Doctor Who, Queer as Folk)
Lead Writer Chris Chibnall (Life on Mars)
Writers Helen Raynor (Brief Encounters)
Peter J Hammond (Wycliffe)
Toby Whithouse (Hotel Babylon)
Cath Tregenna (Casualty)
Noel Clarke (Doctor Who)
Directors Brian Kelly (Sea Of Souls)
Colin Teague (Holby City)
James Strong (Doctor Who, Mile High)
Alice Troughton (EastEnders)
Andy Goddard (Hex)
James Erskine (Holby City)
Ashley Way (Doctor Who)
Producer Richard Stokes (The Inspector Lynley Mysteries)
Executive Producer Julie Gardner (The Girl in the Caf�)
WHAT THE BRITISH SAID
"...shaping up to be one of the best programs on TV." Observer
"There are monsters aplenty, from resurrections of murder victims to an alien addicted to sex...Exciting, spooky stuff." Sunday Mirror
"...this splendid new Russell T Davies drama...action-crammed..." Daily Express
"...fabulous...Two episodes in and I'm already hooked on this show. It's got the drama, action, imagination and humour of Doctor Who � plus sex and swearing. How could it fail? Strictly between you and me, I've even found myself fancying new recruit Gwen Cooper, the ex-cop." Daily Star
"...Torchwood has real potential and got off to a cracking start. Imagine Doctor Who but with swearing, lesbian kisses and a bit more gore. Creator Russell T Davies has done a brilliant job." People
"It not only has a touch of The X Files, but was inspired by Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel...You can certainly see the American influence at work. Torchwood has that glossy feeling about it that we don't normally associate with British television." Sunday Times
"It all sounds a bit like a Welsh X-Files, but essentially this is best viewed as the Angel to Doctor Who's Buffy, a darker, more grown-up drama with added violence, lots of striding through rain-lashed Cardiff streets and some wickedly delivered one-liners. There's also a wonderful, and very dark, twist towards the end of the first episode. Forget the Doctor for now, some of us are making a date with Jack." Observer
"...the show's so good, and its quick-fire dialogue and sets so replete with cross-referential details, that many fans will be back for second helpings..." Mail on Sunday
Episode one: Everything Changes
When Gwen Cooper, a cop, witnesses the resurrection of a murder victim, it begins her journey into a dangerous underworld of savage monsters and alien hunters. Her chance encounter with the enigmatic Captain Jack Harkness and the Torchwood team will change her life forever.
Premieres Saturday, September 8 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Episode two: Day One
An alien addicted to sex is let loose on Cardiff's nightlife, leaving a trail of gruesome deaths in its wake. Captain Jack and Torchwood must track down the creature's new host and in doing so, confront a violent new form of love in the 21st Century.
Premieres Saturday, September 15 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Episode three: Ghost Machine
When Gwen retrieves an alien object from a fleeing thug, she's haunted by a vision of a lonely young boy. As the team track down the object's elusive owner, Owen experiences an even more terrifying vision and a long buried crime resurfaces.
Premieres Saturday, September 22 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Episode four: Cyberwoman
In the basement of the Torchwood building, Ianto Jones hides a terrible secret. As a Japanese doctor attempts to rescue the soul of a half-Cybernised woman (Caroline Chikezie, Footballers Wive$, Brothers and Sisters), a quiet day in Torchwood quickly becomes a living nightmare. Has Ianto unleashed a force that will destroy his colleagues?
Premieres Saturday, September 29 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Episode five: Small Worlds
Supernatural forces stalk the suburbs of Cardiff: but are they friendly or malevolent? And what do they want with the seemingly normal Pierce family? As nightmares of his past haunt Jack, can his old friend Estelle Cole (Eve Pearce) help him prevent the tragedy brewing in a suburban household?
Premieres Saturday, October 6 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Episode six: Countrycide
Concerned that the space-time rift is spreading, Torchwood investigates a series of gruesome deaths in the village of Brynblaidd in the picturesque Welsh Brecon Beacons. What sort of creature could cause such shocking injuries? Stranded without communications or equipment, and isolated from one another, the team confronts a terrifying enemy.
Premieres Saturday, October 13 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Episode seven: Greeks Bearing Gifts
Toshiko is given an alien pendant which enables her to hear other people's thoughts. As the rest of the Torchwood team puzzle over a centuries-old skeleton, the pendant forces Toshiko to question her commitment to Torchwood: is her new-found ability a blessing or a curse?
Premieres Saturday, October 20 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Episode eight: They Keep Killing Suzie
Torchwood is linked to a series of brutal murders around the city. As Jack and the team investigate further, it becomes clear somebody wants their attention. What is Pilgrim? And how is it connected to a figure from Torchwood's past? The resurrection days are far from over.
Premieres Saturday, October 27 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Episode nine: Random Shoes
When Eugene (Paul Chequer, Sinchronicity) wakes to find himself (a) dead and (b) invisible to the rest of the world, he knows something has gone wrong. Eugene knows there is one person he can rely on to discover the truth behind his death: Gwen Cooper.
Premieres Saturday, November 3 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Episode ten: Out of Time
When a plane from 1953 makes an unexpected landing in present-day Cardiff, its three passengers are shocked to learn they can never go back to their own time. Torchwood helps them to settle into contemporary society, but this simple task has painful emotional consequences.
Premieres Saturday, November 10 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Episode eleven: Combat
Savage aliens are being kidnapped from the streets of Cardiff and Torchwood wants to know why. Owen is sent undercover to find out who is behind it and soon befriends the charismatic Mark Lynch (Alex Hassell). Beneath the veneer of normal city life, Owen discovers a shocking subculture. Can he avoid being sucked in?
Premieres Saturday, November 17 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Episode twelve: Captain Jack Harkness
While investigating reports of ghostly music, Jack and Toshiko find themselves stranded in a packed dance hall � in 1941. As Gwen, Owen and Ianto work to rescue their colleagues, Jack and Toshiko meet a handsome young American squadron leader by the name of... Captain Jack Harkness.
Premieres Saturday, November 24 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Episode thirteen: End of Days
The rift has been opened, and time is splintering all over the world. As events spiral out of control, the Torchwood team members are faced with fragments of their pasts � and terrifying visions of their futures. Can Captain Jack save the world?
Premieres Saturday, December 1 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.
� Torchwood is an anagram of Doctor Who. When the first season of the new Doctor Who (2005) was being made, television pirates were desperate to acquire the preview tapes. One of the people in the office had the idea of labelling the tapes with the anagram �Torchwood' rather than Doctor Who, as a security measure to disguise the tapes when they were delivered from Cardiff to London. Writer Russell T Davies liked this idea so much that it later inspired him to use it as a title when creating this spin-off series.
� Torchwood was formed in 1879 by the Royal decree of Queen Victoria as a result of her experiences in Doctor Who: Series 2: Tooth & Claw.
� Torchwood is separate from the Government, outside the Police, beyond the United Nations. More secret than MI5 or MI6, not even the Government is supposed to know about them.
� The Torchwood hub is situated deep beneath the Cardiff Millennium Center.
� John Barrowman first appeared as Captain Jack Harness in Episode 9 (The Empty Child) of the first season of Doctor Who. He also appeared in The Doctor Dances, Boom Town, Bad Wolf and The Parting of the Ways in the same season, and again in the episodes Army of Ghosts and Doomsday in the second season.
� John used to present the UK children's show Live and Kicking in 1993. He has also starred in a number of West End stage musicals.
� The part of Gwen in Torchwood was written specially for Eve Myles. She first appeared as Gwyneth in Episode 3 (The Unquiet Dead) of the first season of Doctor Who.
� Burn Gorman (Owen Harper) received critical acclaim for his hugely popular role of Guppy in the BBC's award-winning adaptation of Dickens' Bleak House.
� Naoko Mori (Toshiko Sato) is best known for her role as Saffy's best friend Sarah (aka Titicaca), in Absolutely Fabulous. She first appeared as Dr. Sato in Episode 4 (Aliens of London) in the first season of Doctor Who.
Captain Jack Harkness
A man with an enigmatic past, Jack leads his team through danger and temptation. The team know very little about this mysterious figure: only that someone with that name disappeared in the middle of the Second World War � but that couldn't be him, could it? Looks late 30s, but probably much, much older, Jack is from the far future but, for undisclosed reasons, has chosen to head up Torchwood. The heart and soul of the team, Jack is pragmatic and practical � if sacrificing a life to save many is the only option, he'll take it. Ambivalent to sexual boundaries, Jack's life remains private.
Second-in-charge and an expert in alien hardware, Suzie is conscientious and hard-working. Her focus is to catalog and understand the devices that come into Torchwood's possession and her enthusiasm borders on an obsession. To Suzie, there is no better job than working for Torchwood � in fact, there is no other job for her.
Gwen's daily routine as a cop and devoted girlfriend to Rhys is turned upside-down when she encounters Torchwood. Intrigued by her resourcefulness, they make her part of the team. Passionate and driven, Gwen is the first (sometimes only) Torchwood member to see the human side to their work, but will she be able to maintain her ordinary life as she becomes more drawn into Torchwood's world?
Owen Harper is Torchwood's scientist and medic. He's brilliant, but unfortunately knows it, and is too arrogant to have much consideration for the rules. Owen is charming but also thoughtless and insolent, which sometimes leads him into confrontations with other members of the team.
Quite simply, Tosh is a genius. She specializes in all things technical � from her computer terminal in the Torchwood hub, she can make it look like you never existed. Her love of technology means she is rarely parted from it. This has consequences for her private life, which she ensures remains exactly that � private. Tosh is the least outgoing of the team.
Ruthlessly efficient, Ianto holds Torchwood together with his polite and calm exterior, ensuring the rest of the team has everything it needs. And let's not forget he looks good in a suit. No one could be that restrained all the time, could they?
Gwen's boyfriend is a transport manager. He's caring and in love with Gwen, but has no knowledge of what her job at Torchwood involves.
AN INTRODUCTION TO TORCHWOOD BY RUSSELL T DAVIES
The Creator, Lead Writer & Executive Producer of Torchwood describes the show.
The Torchwood team is a small group of cops and investigators who use alien technology in a very real world. All the bits of future technology that fall to Earth are captured, scavenged, plundered by the Government, and Torchwood finds ways to use them. A very British operation, away from the prying eyes of America and the UN.
Everyone who works for Torchwood is young, under 35. Some say that's because it's a new science. Others say it's because they die young.
It's bleak, brutally funny, full of all the sex and swearing that usually gets cut from sci-fi. And the sci-fi is very �real'. Few alien creatures in themselves - though if they appear, they're not the Moxx of Balhoon, they're nightmarish and savage and profoundly strange.
There's minimal CGI, with the occasional blow-out to take people by surprise. But it should feel different to the usual sci-fi stuff - this show doesn't need gorgeous spaceships, it needs to manipulate the texture of the picture, as Jacob's Ladder once did, to frighten in all sorts of new ways.
The whole show picks up that feel - rough, wild, with a hefty dose of Shameless. And with that show's sense of humor! Reflected in the scripts as well - The X Files meets This Life.
The series consists of one-off stories - using alien tech to investigate human crimes; to investigate alien happenings amongst ordinary people; and to research new alien devices in themselves. But stories about the central characters are continuous throughout - affairs between team members, traitors, sinister bosses, the misuse of their powers, and then even more affairs - so that the 13 episodes have a shape and an arc.
The Torchwood team first appear in Doctor Who, and spin off into this series - though the link isn't too heavy, since this is for a very different audience.
A dark, clever, wild, crime/sci-fi paranoid thriller cop-show. What else is television for?!
INTERVIEW - JOHN BARROWMAN
John Barrowman didn't need a Tardis (Doctor Who's famous spacecraft and time machine) to take him into space. All it took was the news that Captain Jack Harkness would be getting his own show and he was over the moon.
When viewers last saw Captain Jack in Doctor Who, he was stranded on a satellite many thousands of years in the future. He had heroically faced down a Dalek invasion to protect his new friends, The Doctor and Rose � but his fate was unknown.
Now Jack is back, and in Russell T Davies's dark and sexy sci-fi thriller the Time Agent from the 51st Century is at the helm of Torchwood, an elite, alien-fighting organization on the front line in the battle to protect the human race.
"Jack heads up a team of secret agents who are separate from the Government, outside police jurisdiction and beyond the United Nations. At Torchwood, they answer to no one but themselves. They make their own rules," explains John Barrowman, who plays the enigmatic action man with the mysterious past.
"Jack's the leader and the glue � he keeps everyone together. He's the hero ... although I don't think he'd call himself a hero, he'd just call himself a man who does the job because it needs doing."
But, says the actor, the journey from his terrifying Dalek encounter to 21st-Century Cardiff � home of the hub, Torchwood's top-secret HQ � has left its mark on Jack. "Jack's a little bit darker and he's a little bit angrier than when we last saw him. After all, he was ditched on that satellite and who wouldn't be angry about that?" he says.
"Towards the end of Doctor Who, Jack was becoming more human � I mean human in the sense that he was starting to feel for other people rather than just thinking about himself. As Torchwood begins, he's lost some of that. He doesn't always consider other people's feelings � his priority is the good of the world."
Some things, however, never change. "He's still fun, he still has his dry sense of humor and I think he's still sexy," says the actor, revealing that Jack is back to his old tricks, putting his moves on everyone and, well, everything. "It doesn't have to have a pulse for Jack to fancy it. And if it's got a zip code, he'll sleep with it," he quips.
For John (38), making Torchwood has been a huge thrill. "When Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner and I first sat down to talk about giving Captain Jack his own series, I was completely bowled over. It was a childhood dream to be a character in Doctor Who, so to have my own series was just unimaginable.
"I'm a grown man who gets to go to work every day and fight aliens, play with guns and kiss beautiful people � what more could I ask for?"
Born in Glasgow, John moved to Joliet, Illinois, with his family when he was eight years old. At high school, he starred in an end-of-term musical and never looked back. On a visit to the UK in 1989, he chanced upon an open audition for a West End production of Anything Goes and, after wowing leading lady Elaine Paige, was plucked from obscurity to star in the Cole Porter classic. Acclaimed roles in a string of hit musicals followed, including Miss Saigon, Phantom Of The Opera, Sunset Boulevard and Beauty And The Beast.
The actor has also appeared in the BBC kids' show Live And Kicking, the 2004 film De-Lovely, celebrity reality show Dancing On Ice and, most recently, as a judge on the BBC series How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?, the search for a new London West End star for The Sound of Music.
A life-long fan of Doctor Who, John admits that his home is stuffed with Captain Jack memorabilia, including his racy leather trousers, squareness gun and the bullets he aimed at the Daleks when we last saw him.
It's no surprise, then, that he was every bit as eager to find out more about Jack as the Time Agent's fans (or "Woodies" as John dubs them). "When we first met Jack last year, he was a bit of a rogue, an intergalactic con man who had become that way because of something in his past. Two years of his life had been wiped from his memory and he had no idea why or what went on. Now he's on a mission to find out more about himself," he explains. And there's no better place to do that than Torchwood, which is located on a rift in time and space in modern-day Cardiff.
"Jack's not a time traveler, he's a Time Agent and he can only travel through time with the assistance of someone like The Doctor. Now, Cardiff has this rift in it and so it's one of the places the Tardis is likely to return to, so Jack is just waiting. He never leaves, he never sleeps," says John.
It can be a lonely existence but Jack does find someone to confide in. "Jack gets on with everyone in Torchwood but the only person who knows anything about him is Gwen. Gwen comes in and she brings something new to the team � she brings heart. And, for some reason, Jack starts to reveal things to her."
But even Gwen and Jack have their disagreements, he admits. "Every now and then there are major in-house battles. There are always tensions bubbling away because they're facing life-or-death situations every day. Sometimes Jack gets very angry because the team doesn't understand why he's doing what he's doing. But Jack has seen Earth's future and he knows that the 21st Century is when it all changes � and they've got to be ready."
Cardiff's space-time rift is the key, reveals John, because it acts as a gateway to Earth for a bone-chilling procession of aliens, including the Weevils, a race of wolf-like creatures that live in the city's sewers. "The Weevils are one freaky bunch of aliens," he chuckles. "And every once in a while a Weevil goes rogue and attacks. That's when we have to step in because they can be mighty vicious."
Sewer-dwelling aliens aside, John loves working in Cardiff and has even bought a house overlooking the bay, which he shares with his partner, architect Scott Gill, and their two cocker spaniels, Penny and Lewis. "When you see Cardiff on film, it looks like LA; it looks amazing," he says. "I've seen the first episode and Cardiff surprised even me. I think a lot of people are going to want to come here, not just because of Torchwood but because it's such a great place � it's buzzing every single day and it's beautiful."
John is hoping to find the time to give his family a guided tour of the state-of-the art BBC studio complex where Torchwood is filmed. "It's a great place to work," says John. "Doctor Who is filmed there, too, and the Tardis and the Hub are right next to each other � the only thing that separates us is a curtain. We all arrive at work and go off to our separate areas and then we have a big shared lunch place. So you might sit down with your salad next to a Weevil or share a pizza with a Dalek ... that's pretty normal for us," he laughs.
But not everyone shares the actor's enthusiasm for the BBC canteen. In fact, it was all a bit much for one little boy, the son of one of the Torchwood crew, who recently accompanied his dad to work.
John explains: "We were having lunch and suddenly this very recognizable alien walked by and the child just freaked out. He screamed and his dad grabbed his hand and said, �You'll be fine � you're with me'. But the kid shouted: �No! You can't do anything � I have to be with Jack!' He literally ran over, grabbed onto my leg and wouldn't let go. And the poor old alien was only going outside to have a cup of coffee and a cigarette!"